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backing in or backing out

March 25, 2009

For me, driving backward is more difficult than driving forward. That’s why I don’t back into perpendicular parking spots. Why back into a small space when I arrive, when I could back into a large aisle when I leave?

If you back in, what are your reasons?

19 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2009 9:28 am

    Fast escapes!

  2. March 25, 2009 10:00 am

    It feels good to try it and succeed. Pride often trumps practicality.

  3. Mike Tong permalink
    March 25, 2009 10:04 am

    I hardly ever back into a perpendicular space. Here’s why:

    1. If I’m at Target, Costco, Home Depot, Rainbow, etc, I need access to the trunk.
    2. It makes me feel rude since backing in takes extra time, upsetting the people who are waiting for you.

    But, if I’m just going to pick up some Aleve and Haribo Gummybears, and I am able to pull forward into the opposing space, I always do that.

    Thanks for this important discussion.

  4. March 25, 2009 12:06 pm

    I’m with Brian on this one.

    And I just love driving backward, they should add a few more gears to reverse.

  5. March 25, 2009 12:07 pm

    shoot, “bryan”. Sorry about that!

  6. March 25, 2009 12:22 pm

    No problem!

  7. njlaparra permalink
    March 25, 2009 1:28 pm

    I like to back in because:

    a. it’s harder.
    b. it’s cooler.
    c. after being in a grocery store, I may be annoyed from being around slow people in the store and I usually want to leave pretty quickly.

  8. Molly Piper permalink
    March 25, 2009 2:43 pm

    Abraham went through a backing-in phase. It drove me insane!

    (I’d like to point out that Jessica Melling has quite the male following.)

  9. March 25, 2009 2:46 pm

    I’m sure you do too Molly, we just don’t comment as much on your blog

  10. March 25, 2009 4:17 pm

    Pride may anther reason I don’t back in… I might hit something or someone and make a fool of myself. (Of course, the only time I’ve actually hit someone was backing out of a parking lot, with Pete’s car.)

    The topic of driving did seem to bring a lot of males out of the upholstery today. Will they stick around when my writing turns to kittens, cleaning products, and eyebrow plucking?

  11. March 25, 2009 4:20 pm

    Oh- eyebrow plucking!!!

  12. Evan permalink
    March 25, 2009 4:48 pm

    What’s the turning radius of your car when driving forward? And when driving backwards?

    IF your car can (almost) pivot around a rear tire while backing in, you will be able to get into a narrower parking space.

    However, you will have a proportionately difficult time opening the door and getting out. Likewise for the next car(s) over, also!

  13. Dad permalink
    March 25, 2009 5:25 pm

    My vote is for backing in. Its mere physics. If the parking space is narrow, because of the drag of the rear axle, you have to pull very wide to get in straight or else you’ll scrape the vehicle next to you. Next time you approach a narrow parking space, just imagine your car has rear wheel steering and how convenient it would be to simply swing your rear end around and go straight in. If you back in, whamo, you have this effect–only you are swinging your front end around.

    Furthermore, it is much more difficult to back out into an active traffic zone when your vision is blocked by other
    cars and your own headrests and posts. If you back in, when it is time to leave you are looking through your wide
    windshield with full view of the rest of the lot.

    The perfect solution would be an option which came on a New Holland farm tractor called the bi-directional TW.
    It had two fronts and no rear. All four wheels steered. The steering wheel, seat and all controls where on a console that turned 180 degrees. If cars were built like that, you could drive straight in, spin the console and drive straight out.

    If many people had cars like that, though, I’m afraid it would be the Dickens on the freeway. You couldn’t tell if you were going with traffic or against it. It would certainly cause heart attacks.

    Just back in.


  14. Frank Martens permalink
    March 26, 2009 10:29 am

    At work: I back in… provides for a quick and easy escape. I mean honestly, who enjoys work that much to make it easy to get there? The way I see it… make it difficult to enter, but easy and quick to leave.

    Actually that’s bad theology (not a good one to follow and definitely not the reason why I back into my spot at work), but funny.

  15. March 26, 2009 10:51 am

    its all about the challenge… like a puzzle.

    besides how cool does it look to then pull out of a parking space when you no longer need it!

    i also have this irrational fear of hitting someone in a parking lot when i’m backing out of my space. if you can pull out driving forward, no need to worry.

  16. March 26, 2009 12:53 pm

    The bottom line is: If you can get a “pull through” parking spot, do it! You won’t have to back in OR out!

  17. Evan permalink
    March 26, 2009 9:54 pm

    Lowell (dad) is right. It’s what I was getting at.

    Years ago, while visiting in England, I drove “straight” into a parking spot. When we were leaving, I backed into the traffic and right into the headlight of a BMW (it even had wipers on the headlights)! Its hard to back up a stick shift when you’re sitting on the wrong side of the car and backing into the wrong side of the road.

  18. March 26, 2009 10:22 pm

    You can’t really argue with physics.

  19. Sarah permalink
    March 27, 2009 9:11 am

    I like backing in for all of the reasons listed above. In my own words….it’s surprisingly easier than I ever would have thought!

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